If you’ve ever brought your European car to a service centre, a mechanic may have told you that your vehicle needs a brake fluid flush. Now, being a European car owner, you’ve probably learned a lot about caring for your brakes. You’re no doubt aware that you need to replace the brake pads and rotors once they wear out. However, the importance of a brake fluid flush might not seem as clear to you:
Is It Important to Get a Brake Fluid Flush?
The brake fluid in most vehicles these days is glycol-based. A hygroscopic type of liquid, this fluid absorbs moisture from the environment naturally. According to experts, under normal atmospheric pressures, the absorption rate is around 1.5 to 3% every year. Keep in mind that this percentage becomes higher in Western Australia, especially since the weather can get quite humid at times. Moisture can find its way into the brake fluid through the microscopic pores of the brake’s joints, hoses, seams, joints, and seals.
With More Moisture, the Fluid Starts to Boil
Over time, your brake fluid absorbs more and more moisture. Eventually, it will begin to boil. Keep in mind that brakes convert energy into friction, which produces heat. Ultimately, the heat in the rotors and pads pass through the hoses and lines, making its way into the brake fluid.
If the brake fluid is in good condition, it should not compress to allow consistent and even transmission of pressure in the system. However, once the fluid starts to boil, it compresses and turns into a gaseous state in the form of bubbles. This problem is evident when drivers experience a squishy feeling whenever they step on the pedal.
Of course, this issue can significantly affect the braking power. The driver would find that they need to sink the pedal to the floor before they can put the vehicle to a halt. As the quality of the brake fluid deteriorates, so does the effectiveness of your braking system. So, if you really do care about your safety, you should perform a brake fluid flush regularly.
How Often Should You Perform a Brake Fluid Flush?
You may try to avoid a brake fluid flush because you’d have to spend extra money on a seemingly unnecessary service. However, your expenses will get even more significant when you deal with the damage done by avoiding this maintenance procedure. When you drive with bad brake fluid, you’ll end up replacing rusted brake callipers, lines, and other components. Indeed, it is worth replacing your brake fluid regularly.
In general, your mechanic must inspect and test your brake fluid for moisture content every few years. On the other hand, if you drive your car in a high-humidity area, you’ll need to perform this maintenance procedure every two years. Meanwhile, for car owners experiencing winter weather, they should inspect the entire brake system more frequently. After all, contaminants like salt can easily find their way into the brake fluid.
An excellent way to tell if you need to perform a fluid flush is by opening the brake fluid reservoir. Usually, you’ll find this under the hood of your car, sitting on top of the master cylinder. Brake fluid in good condition should have a light-brown colour. However, for some vehicles, the fluid can be clear. Over time, the liquid will become darker and murky because of water contamination.
Let an Expert Mechanic Inspect Your Brake Fluid
Of course, the best way to learn if you need a brake fluid flush is by letting an expert mechanic inspect the condition of the liquid. Here at German Auto Meisters, we perform a thorough inspection of all the fluids under your vehicle’s hood. We understand the value you put into your European car. As such, we ensure that whenever we perform a maintenance procedure on your car, we identify and address all issues. Once we’re done with the brake fluid service, we can assure that you will drive your luxury car out of our shop in near-mint condition.
Contact German Auto Meisters today to schedule a brake fluid flush!